Towing Vehicles

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Towing Vehicles

This is a discussion on Towing Vehicles within the Horse Trailers forums, part of the Barns, Boarding, and Farms category
  • Horse Trailer Towing Vehicles wheelbase
  • Horse towing vehicle wheelbase

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    09-09-2013, 03:53 AM
Towing Vehicles

Hi everyone!

I have a question that has been on my mind for some time, especially as I get closer to purchasing a trailer...

I have a 2009 V6 4x4 Ford Explorer Sport Trac with a a factory towing package (class III/IV hitch rated for 5080lbs or, with weight-distribution, 7000lbs), and do not have the option of upgrading.

I am going tomorrow to look at a 2-horse straight-load BP with electronic braking; the trailer weighs 2600lbs empty (I was told) and my horse is about 1100lbs. Figure myself, plus tack, water bottles, etc... add 250lbs of weight to my total. This puts my tow weight at 3950lbs (77.7% of my tow rating-- I was told never to tow above 85% of your rating).

When I look around online, there is a huge amount of angst about towing with an Explorer-- however they were redesigned in 2007 and are now available with towing packages, which changes things.

My question is: am I wrong to think that I can reasonably tow my horse with my Sport Trac + tow package? If you think not, then what makes the numbers wrong?
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    09-09-2013, 04:17 AM
I will add this-- I have the option of instead buying a 1995 brenderup, which is a slightfixer-upper (needs new tires, new paint job on wood areas, etc), and lacks any locking tack storage space. Otherwise, it is in good shape. Am I an idiot to not snag this one instead? I'll be honest-- I like the layout and look of the regular bumper pull a lot better.

ETA... I live in Tucson, AZ, where we don't exactly have hilly regions to worry about... :)
    09-09-2013, 10:01 AM
Green Broke
Your gear is going to weigh more than 250, but long as you have brake controler in your explorer I don't see an issue with your setup and one horse, or being cautios with 2 on occasion The same people that will come out of the woodwork screaming foul about towing a 4000lb trailer with a 4400 lb explorer, will go outside and hook up an 8000lb trailer to a 7000lb 3/4 ton.
You did your home work, you got a properly equipped vehicle and are staying well BELOW manufacturers recommendations. That's what I always tell people READ the factory specs. They built the truck, they have to follow all kinds of DOT specs when they publish those specs, they didnt just pull em out of thin air or off a horse forum webpage.

On a side note to the naysayers, that explorer is bigger and heavier than most 90's era 1/2 tons. That's why its rated to tow about the same.
    09-09-2013, 12:01 PM
It's not about weight it's about wheel base. Too shirt a wheelbase and the trailer will sway.

Skip the Benderup. I had a mechanic friend of mine take a look at one and he said he wouldn't even hook one up. The parts that should be solid are all little pieces of metal welded together. Not to mention if you have a kicker in there it won't take much to kick right through the wall, especially in cold.

Get sway bars for your rig, they make a huge difference, especially towing with a shorter vehicle.
Good luck!
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    09-09-2013, 12:19 PM
Green Broke
Run the weight distribution hitch , you'll be fine.
Only a couple inches difference between that vehicle and my 94 F150, which was perfectly fine towing. And the explorer is heavier.
They stopped being the teeny tiny 4cyl ranger based vehicles along time ago.
    09-09-2013, 10:06 PM
Thanks for the advice! I looked into sway bars-- can they be installed without a weight distribution system?

I went to look at the trailer today and it was as good as it seems (just a few cosmetic spots to spray with anti-rust and spraypaint, etc). The inside is coated with rhinoliner which is GENIUS to me (the floorboards are nearly waterproof!)... now I'm just debating if I should take it tomorrow morning or not!

What do you think about this for $2600? Good deal? 2-Horse bumper-pull straight load trailer (Lowered for quick sale!)
    09-10-2013, 12:32 AM
Green Broke
Google tire codes and look up the age of the tires, tread doesnt mean good on trailer tires, at about 10 years they start blowing out. I don't like steel trailers and loathed the under manger tack area. My first trailer was near identical to that one. Weighed 2860 with empty. 2600 doesnt seem bad assuming the steel is sound.
    09-11-2013, 11:30 AM
Well I bought the trailer and towed it home yesterday-- tows like a dream! Honestly, didn't even really need the brake controller when it was empty (had to turn off the boost), and no one at the barn guessed it was as old as 1989! Taking it in to a local shop today just to have it looked over in case there's anything I missed.

Definitely glad I passed on the brenderup. Looking forward to hauling to my first show this weekend! :)
Cynical25 likes this.
    09-11-2013, 12:55 PM
Green Broke
Congrats on the purchase!
    09-11-2013, 01:13 PM
Nice, you need to put up pics!!
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